My role


Europe’s men need their own health strategy

This month's BMJ calls for a men's health strategy for Europe in two articles based on work led by MHF chair Alan White.

Professor White of Leeds Metropolitan University and colleagues offer an analysis of their work The State of Men’s Health in Europe, published by the EU earlier this year.

Prof Alan WhiteAlan, right, points out that: 'ten years ago the BMJ published a special issue on men’s health which noted how, although men fare better than women in most conventional measures such as top jobs and earnings, this advantage is not reflected in their health. The State of Men’s Health in Europe shows that little has changed.'

Alan and his team call for a move away from negative stereotyping of men and masculinity towards 'a visible, integrated focus on boys’ and men’s health within primary and secondary school curriculums that can foster positive models of physical, psychological, and social development,' and give boys the skills to make healthier decisions throughout their lives.

They urge collaboration between employers and unions 'to promote men’s health in the workplace' and call for the removal of barriers to men using health care particularly through the targeting of marginalised groups of men. They want to see more men's health services in unconventional settings such as pubs, sports clubs, schools, and youth centres and more research into how different views of masculinity influence healthy and unhealthy behaviours.

The team conclude: 'In policy, practice, and research there is a pressing need to examine the "problems" with men’s health and to tackle the underlying causes as well as the symptoms. This demands appropriate intersectoral and intergovernmental responses at both EU and national level.'

'Springboard to an exciting future'

An editorial by Gregory Malcher also discusses The State of Men’s Health in Europe. A GP in Australia, Malcher points out that in Europe only Ireland has a national men’s health policy. He argues that the report 'represents a springboard to an exciting future' and calls for more research 'especially in the area of engaging with those men at greatest risk (men in lower socioeconomic groups)'. He also echoes the MHF call for flexible hours: 'There is great potential in educating healthcare providers about alternatives to traditional in-hours primary care'.

Page created on December 2nd, 2011

Page updated on December 5th, 2011